Facebook’s Graph Search: You Are Its Product

This article highlights an announcement made by Facebook concerning a new type of search to be appended onto the current search function of Facebook: graph search. According to the article, “Graph Search promises to let us search through our friends’ likes, photos, locations, and any other info they’ve prior elected to share with us and/or the world.”

For most people who are in the least slightly familiar with the workings of mass-advertising on the internet (anyone’s whose ever searched for a book and *poof* an Amazon ad pops up with the ‘lowest’ price on that item), it’s no secret that companies have been tracking our web-browsing for quite some time. And it would seem – even if it’s only passively – that this practice has been generally accepted by everyone who uses the internet. It’s a tradeoff – the cost for having a million items at our fingertips has to be paid by someone – and if it going to be the advertising companies, it would only follow a natural technological trend for them to start actually utilizing the platform that they advertise on.

The article ends by asking, “Will we ever tire of being product-ized?” suggesting that human’s lives are now becoming viable form of information currency because of these new technologies. However, the question I would like to pose concerns the morality of the continuous advancement of this technology: as a society, are we slowly being shepherded by these continuous advancements into accepting our fate of being product-ized? Although it’s our choice to use these Facebook, is it morally right for Facebook to slowly morph this product we depend on and are familiar with into something that supersedes the purpose of the site that proposed to the user?

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